6 Tips for Dealing with Allergy Symptoms

November 12, 2012

6 Tips for Dealing with Allergy Symptoms

The National Center for Health Statistics estimated 16.9 million Americans suffered from allergy symptoms just in the year 2007 alone. Allergy symptoms include red, watering eyes; constant sneezing; problems breathing; stuffy nose; coughing; and a running or stuffed-up nose. The body normally cranks up mucus production, tears production and coughs more to try and flush out the particular particles the body is allergic to.

But with an allergy, the body goes over-produces tears and mucus. Common allergies include pet dandruff, pollen, dust mites and tobacco smoke. Although prescription medications exist to help relieve allergy symptoms, they do not work for all allergy sufferers. Here are six tips so that allergy sufferers can help relieve their symptoms:

Tip One: Keep Your Nose Clean

When blowing your nose isn’t enough, try cleaning out your nasal passages with a saltwater rinse. Salt water helps to flush out allergens, notes Gainesville, Florida specialist Dr. Jeremy S. Melker. Neti pots are a convenient way to place the salt water solution up your nose and are more effective than over the counter nasal sprays, according to the findings of a 2007 survey of allergy patients.

Tip Two: Try Newer OTC Products

Because of the demand for allergy symptom relief, there are more over the counter (OTC) medications available than every before. Recently, two new antihistamine medications were added – loratadine and cetirizine. Antihistimines work by stopping the body from making chemicals called histamines. Histamines make the body cough, sneeze, tear up and produce copious amounts of mucus. Loratadine and cetirizine do make patients as drowsy as the antihistamines that were available when you were a child.

But if these OTC products do help after two weeks, contact your doctor. You will most likely need a prescription medication.

Tip Three: Try Prescription Nasal Sprays and Eye Drops

Allergy symptoms differ from patient to patient, making some people have chronically inflamed nasal passages. Some people also suffer from allergic conjunctivitis, which is when eyes are constantly watering and itching. This can make blinking painful. Eyes appear constantly pink and lids may puff out with inflammation.

Over the counter products are just not strong enough for these symptoms. Talk to your doctor about using newer prescription eye drops or nasal sprays. Prescription nasal sprays are also antihistamines. Over the counter nasal sprays tend to mainly consist of salt water.

Tip Four: Try OTC Decongestants

Decongestants help the body clear out mucus. The most common decongestant is pseudoephidrine, which unfortunately is a main ingredient in making methanphethamine or “meth.” Only adults are allowed to purchase this product over the counter. Bring an ID with you. Another decongestant to consider is phenylephidrine, although it’s a milder version of pseudoephidrine, but cannot be used to make methamphetamine.

Tip Five: Use Air Conditioning

Allergens like tree pollen often enter the home through open windows. Closing all of the windows in the home and using air conditioning to keep the air fresh can help reduce allergens, even during the cooler weather. This is only a good option for non-smokers, as smokers will need their windows open to help eliminate tobacco smoke.

Tip Six: Consider Allergy Immunotherapy

If your allergy symptoms severely hamper your life and you’ve tried over the counter remedies and prescription medications, it’s time to go to the next level – allergy immunotherapy. Decades ago, these were the dreaded allergy shots, but allergens need not be injected now. Sometimes, especially for children, patients can take pills or liquids that contain a tiny amount of the substance that they are allergic to.

Immunotherapy takes time to be effective. Over the weeks and months, the body becomes used to the minute amounts of allergens entered into its system and builds up a tolerance.

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